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U.S. Under-17 Women's National Team Wins, 6-0, Against Costa Rica in Opener

MACOYA, Trinidad (July 18, 2008) – The United States Under-17 Women’s National Team defeated Costa Rica, 6-0, in the team’s first-ever FIFA World Cup Qualifying match on Friday evening at Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya, Trinidad. The U.S. used two goals each from Samantha Mewis and Courtney Verloo, and one apiece from Julia Roberts and Victoria DiMartino to kick off Group A at the 2008 CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship.

With the victory, the United States earns three points heading into the second match of the tournament, where they will take on El Salvador at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 20, also at Marvin Lee Stadium. The U.S. sits in first place in Group A, after Trinidad & Tobago defeated El Salvador, 5-1, in the second match of the evening.

“Winning the first game of a tournament of this nature is very important for us,” head coach Kazbek Tambi. “The team played very well, they ball moved very well today and we scored on some nice combination plays. Even though the score was 6-0, Costa Rica is an excellent team. They are technically proficient and their forwards can hold the ball very well. We just happened to score some very good goals, but I still believe they are a quality opponent.”

It only took three minutes for the sisters Kristen and Samantha Mewis to make history. Kristen Mewis ran down a ball on the left flank and was taken down by a Costa Rican defender. The midfielder deftly crossed the free kick into the area, where goalkeeper Priscilla Tapia jumped up to meet it. The ball went through Tapia’s hands and to the head of Samantha, who knocked it into the goal. Samantha Mewis’s goal was the first World Cup Qualifying goal for the U.S. at the Under-17 women’s age level.

Kristen Mewis was also a part of the second goal 15 minutes later, when she ran the ball up the left side and passed it into the center for DiMartino. DiMartino held on to the ball, pulling Tapia off her line and dishing it to her right for a wide-open Verloo, who faced Tapia and slid the ball past her out-stretched left foot and into the lower left corner of the goal.

DiMartino had her first look at the goal in the 25th minute, after a nice run by Erika Tymrak. Tymrak carried the ball up the middle of the field and slid it out to DiMartino on the right, just outside the area. DiMartino dribbled into the 18-yard box and fired a shot past Tapia, but the ball was stopped on the line by defender Gabriela Guillén’s out-stretched arm. Referee Dianne Ferreira-James wasted no time in showing the shocked Guillén the red card, leaving Costa Rica on the field with 10 women.

Roberts stepped up to the spot for the U.S. and sent her penalty shot just to the right of Tapia, who managed to get a hand on the ball but wasn’t able to stop the shot from going in.

The young U.S. team did well to keep control of the ball throughout the game, while Costa Rica tried repeatedly to pressure the team all over the field. Verloo felt the pressure in the 37th minute, when she received the ball on the left side with a defender right on her back. Verloo managed to turn with the ball, face the defender and beat her one-on-one with some quick footwork, sending in a cross. The ball soared across the goalmouth, right to DiMartino, who slammed home a header at the far post.

Costa Rica got their first real attempt to score in the 43rd minute, just before the end of the first half. Raquel Rodríguez Vazquez got the ball at the top of the area and was unmarked and ready to make a mad dash for the U.S. goal. She wasn’t counting on U.S. goalkeeper Alexa Gaul’s quickness. Gaul stepped off her line and smothered the attempt at Rodríguez Vazquez’s feet, before the forward could even get a shot off.

The U.S. didn’t make any substitutes at the beginning of the second half, which worked just as well. In the 49th minute, Verloo put in her second goal of the match, capitalizing on a cross that Samantha Johnson flicked with her head, right onto Verloo’s path.

Samantha Mewis sealed the score for the United States in the 54th minute, when Verloo chased down a ball on the right side of the field, beating a defender to it. Verloo calmly played the ball back into open space at the top of the 18-yard box, where Samantha stepped up to blast in a shot that flew past Tapia and into the upper left corner of the net.

The U.S. controlled the tempo for the rest of the match, moving the ball around the field and using the available space. Costa Rica did well to pressure the team, even getting three shots on goal, but was unable to create much danger.

The U.S., Costa Rica, El Salvador and Trinidad & Tobago are attempting to qualify for the inaugural FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup, which will be held from Oct. 28-Nov. 16 in New Zealand. Three teams will qualify from the CONCACAF region, including the two Under-17 Women’s Championship finalists and the team that finishes in third place.


Match-up: USA vs. Costa Rica
Competition: 2008 CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship
Venue: Marvin Lee Stadium; Macoya, Trinidad
Date: July 18, 2008; Kickoff – 5:00 p.m. ET
Attendance: N/A
Weather: 85 degrees, Sunny

Scoring Summary:
           1   2   F
USA   4   2   6
CRC  0   0   0

USA – Samantha Mewis (Kristen Mewis) 3rd minute.
USA – Courtney Verloo (Victoria DiMartino) 17.
USA – Julia Roberts (penalty kick) 28.
USA – Victoria DiMartino (Courtney Verloo) 37.
USA – Courty Verloo (Samantha Johnson) 49.
USA – Samantha Mewis (Courtney Verloo) 54.

USA: 1-Alexa Gaul; 20-Amber Brooks, 2-Crystal Dunn, 3-Cloee Colohan, 16-Julia Roberts; 13-Kristen Mewis (14-Olivia Klei, 55), 9-Samantha Mewis (7-Kathryn Bennett, 57), 8-Erika Tymrak (12-Morgan Brian, 73); 15-Victoria DiMartino, 6-Samantha Johnson, 21-Courtney Verloo
Subs not used: 18-Taylor Vancil, 5-Sydney Payne, 10-Tani Costa, 23-Rachel Nuzzolese
Head Coach: Kazbek Tambi

CRC: 1-Priscilla Tapia; 4-María Barquero, 5-Gabriela Guillén, 12-Daniela Cruz; 7-Mariela Campos, 10-Katherine Alvarado, 13-Jacqueline Mata (20-Hazel Quiros, 46), 19-Fabiola Sánchez (15-Adriana Guzmán, 66); 8-Raquel Rodríguez Vazquez, 9-Carolina Morales (17-Yocxelin Rodríguez, 19), 11-Raquel Rodríguez Cedeño
Subs not used: 18-María Alejandra Arias, 6-Jazmine Guzmán, 14-Daniela Camacho, 16-Krickshia Spence
Head Coach: Juan Diego Quesada

Statistical Summary:
           USA / CRC
Shots: 18 / 5
Shots on Goal: 12 / 3
Saves: 3 / 6
Corner Kicks: 6 / 0
Fouls: 20 / 9
Offside: 3 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
CRC – Gabriela Guillén (sent off) 25th minute.

Referee: Dianne Ferreia James (GUY)
Asst. Referee: Mayte Chavez (MEX)
Asst. Referee: Antonette Williams (JAM)
4th Official: Roberto Moreno (PAN)

Sierra Mist Woman of the Match: Julia Roberts

Group A Results / Schedule
July 18
Costa Rica 0, USA 6
T & T 5, El Salvador 1

July 20
USA vs. El Salvador
T & T vs. Costa Rica

July 22
El Salvador vs. Costa Rica
T & T vs. USA

Group A Standings
Team    GP    W    L   T  GF  GA  GD PTS
USA      1     1    0    0     6    0    +6     3
TRI       1      1    0    0    5     1    +4     3
SLV      1      0    1    0    1     5    -4     0
CRC    1      0    1    0    0     6     -6     0

Group B Results / Schedule
July 17
Puerto Rico 0, Canada 3
Mexico 6, Jamaica 0

July 19
Mexico vs. Puerto Rico
Canada vs. Jamaica

July 21
Jamaica vs. Puerto Rico
Canada vs. Mexico

Group B Standings
MEX    1   1    0    0     6    0    +6   
CAN   1    1    0    0   3      0    +3   
PUR  1    0     1    0    0    3   -3   
JAM    1    0    1    0   0      6    -6  

Semifinals* – Marvin Lee Stadium
Date Matchup Time (ET)
July 24
Winner Group B vs. Runner-up Group A 5 p.m.
Winner Group A vs. Runner-up Group B 7 p.m.
   *Order of matches subject to change

Finals – Marvin Lee Stadium
Date Matchup Time (ET)
July 27
Third Place Match 4 p.m.
Championship 6 p.m.